Powers of Attorney – Can one size fit all?

When it comes to formalising Powers of Attorney, people often assume that one document can deal with financial, medical and lifestyle issues. This is incorrect. Each of these things can only be dealt with by an attorney appointed by a deed in the form specified in the relevant legislation.

If you wish to appoint a person to make decisions about your medical treatment if you become incapable, you need to complete a deed in the form provided under the Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic).

To appoint an attorney to sign documents for you or make decisions regarding your assets and liabilities, you need an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) in the form required under the Instruments Act 1958 (Vic).

Lifestyle decisions such as where you are to live, who can visit you and where you can work are made by your guardian, if you lack the capacity to make those decisions yourself. A guardian is appointed by an Appointment of Enduring Guardian in the form required under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic).

Mary Stewart
Wills and Estates Specialist

SMR Legal Pty Ltd